Tag Archives: English culture

English and British?

A recurring subject on this blog has been the difference (and the inherent conflict) between the identities known as ‘British’ and ‘English’, respectively.

For many, if not most people in the Anglosphere, the identities and terms are interchangeable. I confess that for a good while I was prone to use the terms indiscriminately, though I understood that one can be ‘British’ but have no English blood. The two names describe something different. Even some of my readers in the UK on the old blog said that they often used the term ‘British’ when they really should have said ‘English.’

This post was prompted by a piece at the blog Christianity and Race, which in turn was inspired by a post by Mark Citadel at Citadel Foundations, titled ‘Little England’.  Good, thought-provoking pieces, both. I find little with which I can disagree in either post. I will say, with all due respect, that it may be a little unfair to attribute the ‘English vs. British’ problem to arrogance or hubris only on the part of the English. I know this is a common view of the English, as they were very much a dominant power in the world up until the early 20th century, when their empire began to break up/be broken up.

The original transformation of England into ‘Britain’ or ‘Great Britain’ began with the Act of Union in 1707. It was not by naked aggression or force on England’s part that this Union was effected, though I can certainly agree that, in retrospect, it set England on a course that was to be more damaging to the English than to any of the other ethnic groups who made up the state to be known as Great Britain, then the United Kingdom. Depending on which ethnic group your sympathies lie with, you may disagree. But it’s true that the other component ethnic groups within today’s UK can keep their ethnic identity, symbols, flags, customs, languages, and even their own parliaments, while England lacks those privileges. The English flag of St. George has been labeled ‘divisive’ and ‘hateful.’ England cannot decide its own fate without the input of the many other ethnic groups who now reside there. The English identity is labeled as ‘too exclusive’, because, let’s face it, one cannot be ‘English’ except by ancestry and by genetics. It is a blood kinship, just as is the Scottish or Welsh or Irish identity. Now, we read stories in the Irish media about the ‘new Irish’, with pictures of Africans or Asians smilingly holding their Irish citizenship papers. But no one is fooled by that; people know that Irishness is a matter of blood, as is ‘English.’ Papers and documents can’t confer Englishness  on anyone.

The comparison of the inclusive ‘British’ identity with the ‘American’ identity is a valid one; both are strictly civic identities, and thus they are artificial and arbitrary. One cannot create a real nation by fiat or by documents, and a nation is not a nation if it is based on an ideology or a ‘proposition.’  Britain, or the United Kingdom, has mistakenly followed the American example and is attempting to create a polyglot, multiracial ‘proposition nation’, and the results are looking disastrous. The Empire, unfortunately, laid the groundwork for this. Much as I admire Rudyard Kipling and his work, he tended to romanticize the Raj to some extent, and to establish the idea that someone like his character ‘Gunga Din’ could be ‘British’ in spirit though he was a Hindu. As the empire dissolved, bizarrely, the same Hindus who clamored to expel the British from their homeland soon chased after their former ‘oppressors’, desiring to live amongst them.  The same pattern happened with the Irish, many of whom chose to live in England despite their resentment of the hated ‘Brits’ in their homeland.

So it is not British, or ‘English’ hubris or ambition alone that created the situation; the circumstances are too complicated to merit that charge.

I agree with both of the cited blog posts that England should rediscover its particularistic identity, rather than clinging to this polyglot, all-things-to-all-people ‘British’ identity. I am admittedly a partisan, though I wish all the indigenous people(s) of the UK well, but I think it was the English who were and are the core of what was once ‘Great’ Britain; it was they who made it great. England, ‘Little’ or otherwise, would still be a great country should they go their own way, and let the component countries of the UK go their way.

The future, I hope, will go in the direction of decentralization, of a return to ethnic particularism, and away from polyglot, mixed-multitude empires, which eventually must end in some kind of internal strife and inevitable totalitarianism. The best case scenario would be what I call the ‘blender’, the mixing together of distinct identities into some amorphous mass, not a desirable outcome if we want to preserve the real diversity that exists amongst the various rich cultures of Europe.

Cecil Sharp on Appalachian Americans

I may have referred here to Cecil Sharp, the English folklorist who visited Virginia just over a century ago. He, along with his American assistant,  wanted to collect any folk songs of English origin that may still have been extant in that part of the country, and he found a great many old English ballads that were still preserved amongst the people of the Appalachians. Keep in mind that this is the part of the South that is said to have been settled mostly by Celtic  ‘Scots-Irish’ or Irish people, so this would seem an odd place to go looking for English folk songs and lore. Still, Sharp and his assistant were not disappointed in their quest, and Sharp wrote of the similarities between the rural Appalachian folk and their counterparts back in England.

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This blog points out that Sharp’s descriptions stand in stark contrast to the stereotypes of people from that region that are popularly believed today. Here’s another site which is a good source of information about the subject.

As I love traditional music and all sorts of folklore I am fascinated by the story of Cecil Sharp and his mission to collect and help preserve the musical traditions of Appalachia. His work led to a cooperative effort between traditional music scholars and musicians on both sides of the Atlantic, in order to keep these traditions alive.

The demographic changes that are being imposed on even the more remote areas of the Southern U.S. will no doubt contribute to a weakening and possible loss of the culture and heritage overall. It is just not true that a culture can be preserved by just anybody; a culture is the product of a specific people, an extended kin-group who are genetically from the same source.  If a culture is a disembodied thing that can be transferred to any random ‘recipient’ then it is a museum piece, no longer a living tradition.

I hate to make this political, but there’s just no way around it. A people must be preserved in order for their culture to survive and continue.

 

 

The ‘English diet’

It’s pretty rare that the British press ever has anything positive to say about anything traditionally English, so this article from 2011 is a rarity. According to this, the ‘English diet could save thousands of Welsh, Scottish and Irish lives.’ Apparently, some think the English diet is healthier than the diet followed by the average Welsh, Scots, or Irish household.

The British media, like the American media, are always scolding and nagging readers about ‘eating healthier’, and if anything, the UK media are worse for their nanny state meddling in people’s diets and health choices. It’s bad enough that the government(s) and their media arm are sticking their noses where they don’t rightfully belong — government is not meant to involve itself in what we eat; at least in the U.S. our government is limited, strictly speaking, to certain functions — at which it is currently derelict (such as enforcing our borders) and it has no business preaching to us about what we eat. But the media does that constantly, and worse, they are behind the times as to the ‘information’ with which they lecture us. Example: their incorrect, and since discredited ideas about the benefits of ‘low-fat’ diets. But they persist in nagging us about eating low-salt diets as well.

Most of us remember that the older generations, our grandparents if not our parents, ate diets that are now condemned by the health establishment as bad and unhealthy — yet those older generations often seemed to live longer, healthier lives than today’s health-obsessed people. My Southern grandparents, of English descent, ate a breakfast that was almost identical to the traditional ‘full English’ breakfast, pictured here. Most people today would be horrified, probably calling it a ‘heart attack waiting to happen’, though my grandmother lived a healthy life, dying at age 94; her brother died at 105. And they ate this kind of diet.

If you read the article I link to above, about the ‘full English breakfast’ you will notice that the writer says, of the obligatory tomato included on the plate,

“Much like the beans, the tomato may seem like an optional garnish; I assure you, it is not. The sweetness and acidity that come from a cooked tomato goes a long way in cutting the fattiness that is inherent in the rest of the plate.”

I was amused by that; the older generations in my family always said that the tomato was there to “cut the grease” in the rest of the meal. Even centuries after our family came to this country, those sayings still persist. But yes, the tomato does seem to ‘cut the grease.’

It is interesting that some of the culinary and dietary habits came to this country, though in this country,  at least in the South, other breakfast items like ‘grits’ were added to the breakfast menu. I don’t think that particular food has British antecedents, especially as corn (Indian corn, or maize to some in the old country) was a New World food.

As to whether the English diet is healthier than that eaten elsewhere in the UK, I can’t speak to that; I found, in Ireland, that the people ate similar diets to that of most English people, with some minor variations — like brown bread with breakfast, although the Irish do like their ‘fry’ for breakfast at times too.

It does seem that on both sides of the Atlantic, the nanny state governments want to dictate or control what we eat, and while they claim to be motivated by concern for our health and well-being, at the same time they are feeding us GMO foods, and in this country, removing ‘place of origin’ labeling on some foods, and importing much of our food and medicines (even prescription medications) from third-world countries with very poor safety standards, and histories of adulterated and toxic products. So how concerned are ‘our’ governments, really, about our health and safety?

And it does seem as though they are aiming to make vegans of us all, eventually, and to habituate us to a ‘third-world’ style diet, emphasizing the exotic ethnic foods that the many immigrants have introduced into our Anglosphere countries. Out with the old, and in with the new, regardless of the dubious health benefits of these new foods.

Could it not be that our bodies are genetically programmed to do well on a certain type of diet, a diet which includes meat and dairy and what the questionable ‘experts’ call unhealthy amounts of fat? Our Northern European ancestors seem to have done pretty well on that diet, and yet we are constantly told we should stop eating it.  I suppose this article about the relative health benefits of the English diet would not be written in 2017. In the years since it appeared, the health ‘experts’ haven’t shown much sign of revising their ‘low fat, low salt’ dogma.

As for me, I prefer to go with what works, and what was good for the older generations is good enough for me, I think.

The legacy of our forebears

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This quote from Peter Hitchens resonated with me. I’ve contemplated those great cathedrals and thought of the skill and art that went into conceiving and constructing them. It should impress us with what our forbears were capable of. Where are the modern equivalents? The very fact that these buildings took generations to build and that they were ‘built for the ages’ impresses me with the builders’ belief in something transcendent and eternal; they saw their  place in this unbroken chain of folk and faith.

Something worth saving

At Albion Awakening, Bruce Charlton offers some musings on Brexit Day in Britain, and considers why it seemed so important to the EU establishment to prevent Britain’s exit from that benighted union.

He says that the past nine months, that is, the time between the Brexit vote and the eventual beginning of the exit process, have shown the main reason for the EU’s reluctance to let Britain leave.

“It is what the Eurocrats call ‘the free movement of people’ but which in practice means that the UK is valued primarily as the major dumping-group for people that the rest of the EU does not want…”

Apparently the UK is the desired destination for a lot of the ‘refugees’ and immigrants, legal or otherwise, who enter the EU. Whether this is because of an organized effort to encourage these unwanteds to move on to the UK — by telling them that there are better benefits and handouts to be had there, or whether they learn from relatives or countrymen that Britain is a ‘soft touch’, many seem to end up there.

“We need to ask why it is so very important to the EU rulers that Britain specifically should get more unwanted people sent to us (passing through Europe, in preference to the rest of Europe) than anywhere else, year after year, decade after decade…”

Charlton concludes that the global powers-that-be consider the destruction of the British nation a high priority. I’ve long believed that, and this includes the Anglosphere in general, to a greater or lesser extent. Obviously all White countries, or countries with a dominant (or once-dominant) White majority are in the cross-hairs. But the Anglosphere has been especially besieged. Our country is in a way an easier target because of our tradition of the ‘melting pot’ and early mass immigration, which softened us up for the later onslaught.

I do agree with Bruce Charlton that a spiritual reawakening is the only thing that can truly save not only Britain but the West in general. However the term ‘spiritual’ has been so misused by many post-moderns; most ”progressive” people claim to be ‘spiritual’ but their spirituality is not the kind that is compatible with Western society/Christendom-as-was.  Given the composition of most Western populations these days, with ethnic/cultural/racial divides and major generational rifts, I don’t know how we might ever reach any agreement as to how to save  our societies.

I think Tiberge at GalliaWatch, writing about the situation in France, is on the right track. She cites Marion Maréchal Le Pen‘s recent article in Le Figaro on the need for cultural preservation and revival. This idea is important to all Western nations whose cultures and historic heritage are being undermined and outright destroyed through mass immigration and the damage done by the left’s loathing of our past and our traditions.

The realms of politics is important, but the political represents mainly the material aspect of life mostly; money, power. It is the material and physical side of our world, while culture and tradition and history are the non-material — I’ve thought a good deal about how the culture of a people is its spirit, its soul. That, too, is ‘spiritual’, and it’s essential to our retaining or restoring our essence as a people.

Men — or nations — do not live by ‘bread’ alone.

The picture says it all

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Above is Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK, wearing an Islamic-style head-covering, apparently talking with ‘community leaders.’ The headscarf, as well as the conciliatory, supplicating body language, seems to tell the tale. This obvious weakness and spinelessness enabled what happened in London yesterday.

Theresa May represents the Conservative [sic] party of her country. That says something about what passes as conservative.

The tale told by the photo also illustrates that women do not make good heads of state as a rule. Yet most of the male political leaders are little better, and just as weak and feminized and submissive.

Some might argue with my statement about women as leaders, citing, in the British context, Margaret Thatcher or Elizabeth I. Thatcher was called ‘the Iron Lady’ but yet she also played her part in stepping up immigration, as, similarly her friend Ronald Reagan did in America, with his 1986 amnesty.

Even if we accept that there have been exceptional women in the past who made good, strong leaders, I would say that today’s supposedly ”strong” women are not made of the same stuff as those of past eras.

The problem is that our societies, both in the U.S. and the UK, have become feminized overall; the ‘feminine’ qualities such as operating on feelings rather than reason and common sense, the emphasis on self-sacrificing altruism (or at least an outward show of it) and the idea of ‘reaching out’ to others and achieving consensus.

It all fits hand in glove with the hyper-masculine Islamic culture which seeks to subjugate others, to compel submission (as the very word Islam means submission). They have a will to dominate and our societies lack an equal will to resist.

Again, as I watch this slow-motion destruction of Britain or of our country, I can’t help thinking, yet again, of the ‘Lancaster Plan’, about which I posted. Granted, it’s only an alleged plan, but if it were true would the British political class admit it? Honestly?

Since I posted about the Lancaster Plan, I came across a mention on another blog. Someone submitted a quote from a commenter at the counter-jihad blog Gates of Vienna.

From a comment by someone at GoV called “Bishop Cardinal Guy Leven-Torres TOCC UK”

“Europe will be Islamic by 2023 if no rebellion ensues. The British Police are already receiving training to that effect. Local informant. This is the whole point of Sharia compliant hate law and diversity training and the ridiculous respect given to Moslems and their religious feelings.

In UK it is called the Lancaster (House) Plan. Yes it does exist but is being applied to all of Europe. I have been warning of these events for years but summarily dismissed a “loony”, even by fellows in the supposed “Counter Jihad”….

“Lancaster House” is used by British Government and FO to implement Lancaster House Plans in cases like Rhodesia and Mugabe, but also more recent events. The handover to India in 1947 was such a “Lancaster Plan (John of Gaunt), as was Northern Ireland and the devolution of independence to Scotland. Nobody wants to believe me despite 23 years researching the subject and ancient Medieval history (MA Hons) and Islam and holding an Honorary Doctorate in Divinity etc.”

As events unfold, I see this allegation as being more and more believable. I wish I felt it was just more ‘conspiracy’ looniness but the fact is, so many of the conspiracy theories have proven to be conspiracy fact.

Whether it is literally true, this Lancaster Plan, whether it is something which is planned, already a fait accompli, or whether it’s just a big coincidence that reality is lining up with ‘conspiracy theory’, it seems to be happening.

 

 

 

Our ancestors: victims and villains

In searching the Internet for the source of some apparently derisive remarks by Disraeli about the Anglo-Saxons, I came across this piece from 2002, which proves to be informative. It touches on the questions addressed on this blog, and on the issue of race and nation, which is very much a hot topic these days.

Granted, the piece is from the Guardian, so it can be taken with the usual generous helping of salt, but nonetheless it has some interest.

I’ve wondered at times about the source of the now-standard disparaging of the Normans and the elevation of the Saxons in the popular imagination. It seems that the Romantic era in Europe brought a new fascination with primitive tribes and national/racial origins.

“In the late 18th century, Britain joined every other European country in a Romantic quest to uncover its racial heritage. The Enlightenment belief in the universal rationalism of man was replaced by histories of primitive tribes, national languages and racial genealogies. As the French rediscovered the Gauls, the Victorian public became bewitched by Britain’s Saxon heritage. Archaeological societies mushroomed, Beowulf was translated, and mewling Aelfreds and Aelfrics were dragged to church fonts. The Saxon spirit of manly independence, gruff manners, and no-nonsense militarism quietly merged into what were taken to be uniquely British characteristics. In Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, the northern factory owner Mr Thornton proudly declares his Saxon roots. “I belong to Teutonic blood; it is little mingled in this part of England to what it is in others; we retain much of their language; we retain more of their spirit.

As the Saxons rose in historical favour, so the Normans necessarily fell. The early Victorians regarded William the Conqueror and his henchmen as little better than illegal usurpers who had attempted to crush the free Saxon spirit. Under Norman rule, the Saxons had been stripped of their land, hounded from office, and ground under the boot of military occupation. The Norman temperament was one of arbitrary rule, tyrannical Catholicism, and underhand continental ways. But luckily, according to a popular history book of the 1820s, “as the Saxons continued in the country after the Conquest, and were much more numerous than the Norman settlers, we are still almost all of us of chiefly Saxon descent; and our language, and many of our habits and customs, sufficiently declare our origin.”

Sir Walter Scott absorbed these ideas and his work Ivanhoe reflected these popular stereotypes. I noticed this some years ago: the Normans in Ivanhoe were, especially in the Hollywood movie treatment of that work, sort of like a medieval biker gang, although with more suave manners. The Hollywood movie Normans went around clad all in black, looking rather modern, from what I recall, and were very much the villains. Conversely the Jewish characters received more sympathetic treatment.

“The free-willed Saxon is hounded by the vicious Norman in a country lost without the consensual hand of Richard the Lionheart. Only the brave Ivanhoe can unite these warring classes. Scott envisioned the Saxons and Normans as two distinct races: “the vanquished distinguished by their plain, homely, blunt manners, and the free spirit infused by their ancient spirit and laws; the victors, by the high spirit of military fame, personal adventure, and whatever could distinguish them as the flower of chivalry.” Font-de-Boeuf and de Bracy fitted the historical icon of the rapacious Norman, while Rowena and Ivanhoe played the parts of virtuous Saxons with equal appropriateness.”

These contrasts could be seen as prefiguring the now-popular idea that the original English settlers of North America represented ‘two distinct races,’ the stern, rigid Puritan New England colonists and the more urbane Cavaliers of the Jamestown colony.
Then, throw in (per David Hackett Fischer) other groups like Quakers (many of Irish as well as English blood) and the rough-and-ready, ”born fighting” Celts, the Scots-Irish to further complicate matters.

There is some validity to the idea that the Normans were a distinct people from the Saxons, though it is also true that both groups are of Germanic/Nordic origin and that they are close kin genetically; this fact is denied by being ignored.

To return to Benjamin Disraeli, he apparently took these ideas of ‘two nations’ to heart.
In his work Coningsby, apparently the story of Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the character Sidonia, (said to represent Disraeli himself), says “All is race; there is no other truth.”

“The future Conservative prime minister’s personal preoccupation with race was often reflected in his fiction. His own Jewish heritage and interest in the racial divisions of the Orient were tortuously explored in Tancred, or the New Crusade.
[…]

Sybil, too, is a tale of race. It’s a story of how the 19th-century descendants of an arrogant Norman aristocracy continued to live off the plundered wealth of dispossessed Saxons. The Normans are the rich and the miserable Saxons now reduced to the state of factory hands in grimy cities the poor. Egremont is a Norman and Gerard is a Saxon; they are “formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food”. The divisions of the two nations are historic and racial.”

All this has a depressingly familiar sound to it; the dispossessed and downtrodden minorities, wronged by an interloper race who conquered and dominated them. It mirrors the current belief system about the colonization of the Americas and much of the Third World by Whites. The more successful and stronger race is condemned as immoral and oppressive, and the conquered peoples held up as blameless victims. It set the pattern for the current paradigm that has Whites being condemned for ‘hegemony’ and ‘White privilege.’ All this could be said to be the heritage of the Romantic worldview of the Victorian era and earlier.

The role of Disraeli, a Sephardi Jew who became Prime Minister of Britain, is an interesting feature in this story. His own biases and preconceptions, as a member of an ‘oppressed and victimized group’, colored the views he succeeded in promoting amongst Western peoples, and we are living with the legacy of that.

As of now, the stereotypes created as part of this warped mindset are crippling to us, plagued as many of us are with guilt over the fact that our ancestors were just too successful and competent. How long will we have to expiate that guilt, and what will be the cost, before we recover from this guilt-binge?